NanoAvionics announces the upcoming launch of two orbital missions based on its M6P nano-satellite bus. The nano-satellite manufacturer and mission integrator uses innovative approaches to technology and business, that makes a new generation of space applications possible.
The launch of these nano-satellites will demonstrate how NanoAvionics enables a faster, more responsive approach to space technology development. Among the features of the M6P bus is a pre-integrated design that shortens development cycles. In addition, NanoAvionics’ ridesharing program lets several customers conduct technology demonstration missions at a fraction of the time and cost of a dedicated space mission.
The first satellite, “BlueWalker 1,” is the first of a series of satellites for AST & Science, to be used for testing the company’s patented technologies in space. The two companies are partnering to take advantage of NanoAvionics’ best-in-class buses, power systems, and services for this and subsequent AST & Science missions in the coming months.
Such a rapid tempo of space missions is the direct result of NanoAvionics’ design approach. The subsystems in each M6P bus are pre-integrated and pre-qualified. This allows the integration of customers’ payloads to begin immediately, saving both time and money.
Vytenis J. Buzas, the CEO of NanoAvionics, explained that it only took one month to manufacture “BlueWalker 1” and integrate its payload. “The “BlueWalker 1” mission demonstrates how NanoAvionics’ pre-integrated nano-satellite bus enables faster, more responsive approaches for advancing space technology readiness,” Buzas said.
The second nano-satellite “M6P” is a ride-share mission which will host payloads from two Internet of Things (IoT) communications companies. SpaceWorks Orbital and Lacuna Space are each developing satellite-based communications systems for a new generation of low-power IoT devices.
SpaceWorks Orbital will complete a multi-year development effort with its patented IoT radio technology by demonstrating ground-to-space communication with the M6P spacecraft while in orbit, validating the company’s low-cost IoT architecture for its Blink Astro business line. In parallel, Lacuna Space will receive LoRaWAN signals from terrestrial IoT devices and relay the data through the company’s cloud-based Lacuna Network to participants in Lacuna Space’s beta program. In addition to supporting the ride-sharing missions, NanoAvionics will demonstrate some of its recently-developed nano-satellite technology on the “M6P” flight.
A dedicated satellite would be overkill for technology demonstrations such as these. By sharing an M6P bus’s up to 5U payload volume, project teams can divert resources to other essential tasks. M6P bus standardized hardware and software interfaces several times accelerate satellite integration timeframe as well as help to define an interface for payload. Access to M6P FlatSat which is granted to each customer allows to develop and test payload software and simulate all operational aspects of their mission. Also, the rideshare service reliefs burden of launch integration and logistics, frequency allocation, and satellite operation while it’s in orbit for NanoAvionics customers.
Buzas explained that the benefits of ride-sharing extend beyond budget savings. “Ride-sharing opportunities let new space projects quickly prove their technologies to customers and investors alike,” he said. “At the same time, our customers can significantly reduce their time-to-market. By helping our customers at the earliest stages of their development, we form a solid foundation for long-term partnerships as they deploy their nano-satellite constellations.”
“BlueWalker 1” and “M6P” are manifested on the Indian Space Research Organisation’s PSLV-C45 mission. When the PSLV-C45 launches from the ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Center in April 2019, it will deploy the nano-satellites into 500-kilometer polar orbits. NanoAvionics will operate both satellites for the duration of their missions.
NanoAvionics is a Nano-satellite Bus manufacturer and mission integrator. Its flagship multi-purpose M6P is the first preconfigured nano-satellite Bus in the sector, designed to serve emerging commercial space markets. The company’s efforts are focused on enabling critical satellite functions and optimizing their launch, hardware and operation costs – ranging from single missions to constellations. Its core engineering team has implemented over 40 successful satellite missions during the past several years.
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